The Miner’s Refuge, intended as a weekend retreat, is carefully sited at the base of the hillside and tucked into the tree line to take advantage of and preserve the surrounding views. Designed by Johnston Architects its mass is dug into the topography, anchoring the structure to the site. The outdoors is pulled in through dramatic open views. The protected patio and expansive vista of meadow and mountain are incorporated as major components of the design. More photographs and drawings following the break.
Architects: Johnston Architects
Location: Mazama, Washington, USA
Partner in Charge: Ray Johnston
Project Team: Eli Troyke, Christina Haislip, Megan Sheets
Structural Engineer: BTL Engineers
Landscape Architect: Windy Valley Landscaping
Contractor: North Cascades Construction, Inc
Structural Elements/Systems: Alpine Welding
Client: Gaylord & Worthington
Project Area: 1,867 sqf
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Will Austin Photography
The Miner’s Refuge has taken up the challenge of drawing upon and adapting those lessons of the industrial, rural vernacular to accommodate the needs of a modern lifestyle. The building massing is mindful and reminiscent of the history of mining in the valley. Its long linear circulation corridor leads from the entry along the entire length of the house giving access to the living and sleeping spaces.
Sustainability begins with building restraint. The owners of Miner’s Refuge came to the table with a smart and simple program that could satisfy their living needs in less than 1,900 sqf. The home, shared between two families, incorporates an open kitchen/living/dining area, two modest master suites and a small bunk room accommodating up to four guests. Renewable and environmentally responsible products were used where possible, the orientation and detailing of the building take solar gain into consideration and efficient mechanical systems combine to make Miners Refuge a project respectful of its environment.
The visual, physical and conceptual connections to place were the driving force in the design and what makes this project unique. The beautiful landscape and charm of rural eastern Washington is what initially attracted the owners to this area. It is this character that the design for the Minor’s Refuge embraces and aims to protect.